North Spitsbergen Explorer - 8 Days

Aboard Plancius – 108 passengers

This expedition focuses on the versatility of north Spitsbergen’s visually stunning landscapes, vast spans of sea ice, and many opportunities to spot whales, polar bears, seabirds, walruses, and other such wildlife. Enjoy the fantastically beautiful landscapes, adventurous landings, and shoreline hikes. 

Tour Dates

Itinerary

Day 1: Embarkation in Longyearbyen, Norway
You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plants have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage.

Day 2-7: North Spitsbergen’s natural beauty, wildlife, and pack-ice
This voyage will take you into the pack ice and along the remote shorelines of rugged north Spitsbergen. Places we might visit include the following:

Raudfjord
On the north coast of Spitsbergen, you can enjoy this expansive fjord spilling with glaciers – and maybe even visited by ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline also support thriving seabird colonies, rich vegetation, and the possibility of polar bears. We will try to land at Alicehamna or Buchananhalvøya.

Monaco Glacier
Depending on the weather and sea ice, we could sail into Liefdefjorden, land at Texas Bar and cruise within sight of the 5-kilometer-long (3.1 miles) face of Monaco Glacier. The waters in front of this precipitous glacier are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes, and the base of the ice is a popular polar bear hunting ground. If ice conditions prevent us from sailing here early in the season, we may sail along the west coast of Spitsbergen.

Highlights of Hinlopen
We aim to sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded seals, ringed seals, and polar bears. At the entrance, there is even the possibility to spot blue whales. After cruising among the ice floes of Lomfjord in the Zodiacs, you can view the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet, with their thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots. On the east side of Hinlopen Strait, we may attempt a landing on Nordaustlandet. Here we may see reindeer, pink-footed geese, and walruses. We can take an alternate route if ice prevents entry into Hinlopen.

The Seven Islands
The northernmost point of the voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet at Chermsideøya or Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands. Here we may reach 80° north, just 870 km (540 miles) from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears inhabit this region, so the ship may park for several hours among the pack ice before wheeling around west again.

Sailing the continental shelf
While retracing our route west, keep watch for polar bears and elusive Greenland (bowhead) whales. About 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen, we sail the edge of the continental shelf. Here fin whales forage during the summer in the upwelling zones (where cold, nutrient-rich water wells up from below the sea’s surface) that run along the Spitsbergen banks. At the mouth of Kongsfjorden, you have a good chance of sighting minke whales.

Forlandsundet, St. Johns Fjord, or Alkhornet
Walruses sometimes haul out in Forlandsundet at Sarstangen or Poolepynten. Alternatively, we might sail into St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden, landing at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on these cliffs, Arctic foxes search below for fallen eggs and chicks, and reindeer graze the sparse vegetation.

Day 8: Disembarkation in Longyearbyen
Even great adventures must eventually come to an end. The vessel arrives back in Longyearbyen in the early morning, and bus transportation to the airport will be provided.

PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Landings are subject to site availabilities, permissions, and environmental concerns per AECO regulations. Official sailing plans and landing slots are scheduled with AECO prior to the start of the season, but the expedition leader determines the final plan. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. The average cruising speed of our vessel is 10.5 knots.

Route Map

Trips and Rates

Please note, rates are Per Person in USD
Quad Porthole
$4,300
 
Triple Porthole
$5,350
Full
Twin Porthole
$5,950
 
Twin Window
$6,450
 
Twin Deluxe
$6,800
Limited
Superior
$7,750
 
Quad Porthole
$4,300
Limited
Triple Porthole
$5,350
Full
Twin Porthole
$5,950
 
Twin Window
$6,450
 
Twin Deluxe
$6,800
Limited
Superior
$7,750
 

Single Travelers:

  • Can book into a share cabin in Quad – Twin Deluxe
  • Can book a twin cabin at solo occupancy at 1.7x the per person share price

Single Travelers:

  • Can book into a share cabin in Quad – Twin Deluxe
  • Can book a twin cabin at solo occupancy at 1.7x the per person share price

Adventure Options:

  • Kayaking (full program, multiple paddles): $560/person – requires experience
  • Camping: $225/person for 2024-25 season & $250/person for 2025-26 season
  • On Basecamp departures all activities are free

Availability & prices are subject to change at anytime. Please contact us for the real time availability & prices.

Cabin Descriptions

Superior

The Superior cabins are the most spacious and the only cabin category with a double bed. They are located on deck 4, 5 & 6, with most being on deck 5 & 6 (there is just 1 superior on deck 4). Features: 2 windows, 1 double bed, 1 sofa bed, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Refrigerator, Coffee & tea maker, Hair dryer, Safe deposit box and Ample storage space. 

226 – 248 square feet / 21 – 23 square meters.

Plancius twin deluxe

Twin Deluxe

There are just 2 Twin Deluxe cabins located towards the aft of deck 4. They are corner cabins and are slightly more spacious than the Twin Porthole/Window cabins. Features: 2 windows, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hair dryer, Ample storage space and Safe deposit box. 

145 square feet / 13.5 square meters

Plancius twin window

Twin Window

The most abundant cabin category on the ship, all located on deck 4. Features: 1 window, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hair dryer, Safe deposit box and Ample storage space. 

135 – 145 square feet / 12.5 – 13.5 square meters

Plancius twin porthole

Twin Porthole

The nine Twin Porthole cabins are located on deck 3. Features: 1 porthole, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hair dryer, Safe deposit box and Ample storage space. 

129 square feet / 12 square meters

Plancius triple porthole

Triple Porthole

Just 1 Triple cabin located on deck 2. This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin. Features: 1 porthole, 1 upper berth & 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hair dryer, Safe deposit box and Ample storage space.

Plancius quad porthole

Quad Porthole

There are 4 Quad cabins on deck 2. This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin. Features: 1 porthole, 2 upper berths & 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hair dryer, Safe deposit box and Ample storage space. 

129 square feet / 12 square meters

Deck Plan

Inclusions & Exclusions

Inclusions: 

  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
 

Exclusions: 

  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).